SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Junior guard Ama Biney led Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with 16 points, five steals, and three assists to defeat the Mount Holyoke College basketball team, 74-42 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Thursday night.
With the win, the Engineers move to 14-2 overall and are now 6-1 in conference play. Additionally, the victory marked the 300th of WPI head coach Cherise Galasso's career, including 275 over 17 years at the helm of the Engineers. The Lyons fall to 2-11 with an 0-7 mark in the NEWMAC.
Along with Biney (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name), junior forward Madison Beck (Syracuse, N.Y./Fayetville-Manlius) and senior guard Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI/LaSalle Academy) also scored in double-figures. Beck came off the bench for 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Dunphy finished with 12 points. Junior forward Maura Buckley (Melrose, Mass./Arlington Catholic) also had a productive game, pulling down six boards off the bench.
For the Lyons, senior captain and forward Xajaah Williams-Flores (The Bronx, N.Y./Holderness School) led the team with a 10 point and 10 rebound double-double in 28 minutes of action. First year guard Katlyn Grover (Bernardston, Mass./Stoneleigh Burnham School) also had a strong game with nine points, all from downtown. Grover has hit six three-pointers in the last two games.
The Lyons got out to a fast start, connecting on four out of its first six shots to take an early 8-9 advantage. The next possession, Grover knocked down a three from the wing for the 11-9 lead. The Engineers countered with a 10-0 run powered by two treys from Dunphy to make it 19-11. Williams-Flores was able to knock down a layup off of a miss to cut the deficit to 19-13, but junior guard Stasha Greenalch (Newington, Conn./Newington) finished a fast-break layup to end the quarter, 21-13.
In the second quarter, the Engineers picked up the pressure and went on a 25-5 run led by Biney who had 7 points in the stanza. MHC junior guard Genesis DiCarlo (Sullivan, Maine/Sumner Memorial) made a jumper with :34 seconds to go to cut the lead to 45-20 heading into the half.
WPI got out to another hot start in the third, going on a 9-0 run, but MHC went on a run of its own as Grover connected on a deep three and Williams-Flores knocked down a layup for a 54-25 score. The Engineers first year guard Alana Keating (Leominster, Mass./St. Bernard's) hit a three with 2:12 to go in the stanza, but Williams-Flores scored a layup on the next possession to send the game into the fourth with WPI up 64-29.
Mount Holyoke outscored WPI in the fourth, 13-10, led by first year guard Kathryn Violette (Yokosuka City, Japan/Yokohama International School). She posted six points, including a deep three with the shot clock winding down. Despite a pair of free throw makes from first year forward Sade Chuckas (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) in the final :26 seconds, the Lyons could not get closer.
Mount Holyoke will hit the hardwood again on Saturday at Wheaton on the road at 1:00pm. WPI will be back in action on Wednesday, when it hosts Springfield at 7:00pm.